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Politicians, pundits weigh-in on embassy move

May 14, 2018 07:20 PM

ALBANY - Everyone knows the Middle East has been a political powder keg for more than a millennium. According to Kinderhook Congressman John Faso, the current uptick in violence reflects on the Palestinians.

"It's these people who want to continue to fan the flames of discontent that should be the focus of our ire, not the Israelis for saying legitimately where their capital is," Faso stated.

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Congressman Paul Tonko (D - Amsterdam) on the other hand, believes the embassy move flies in the face of diplomacy.

"An embassy is there to keep peace in the region," Tonko opined, "Ironically, the move has already caused violence and several deaths. We need to do these things in a way that balance the peace outcome that is part of the Mideast and utilize diplomacy."

And then there's Senator Charles Schumer (D - New York), who believes the embassy move is long overdue.

"Sometimes you have to do the right thing," Schumer said, "and those protesting should do it peacefully."

Union College Political Science Professor Dr. Stephen Berk is an internationally recognized expert on the Middle East. He reminds people that President Donald Trump never precluded the possibility of Palestinians from creating their own capital in Jerusalem, essentially sharing the city with Jews.

"They go so upset, they refused to negotiate over it," Berk said. "They insulted vice President Pence when he came there. They refused to negotiate. It's very silly and counterproductive for their purposes. The Palestinians have made a terrible, terrible mistake."

NewsChannel 13 also asked Professor Berk if he thinks the U.S. has lost its ability to be an impartial peace negotiator. Berk says he doesn't think the U.S. ever had that status because of its close friendship with Israel. And when we asked him who else might be able to fill the peace negotiator role, he responded, "No one."

Credits

Dan Levy

Copyright 2018 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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